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Welcome to the web course on Academic Knowled= ge and Inquiry!
=20 Roll over the highlighted terms below to read a= definition or explanation.

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If you take your journey through this course seriously and work through all the exercises and the expositions, you will develop a broad = cross-disciplinary understanding of the nature of academic knowledge and in= quiry. Within this framework, you will develop the ability to:

    - justify a position/claim you subscrib= e to;

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    - critically evaluate a position that y= ou come across, along with any justification that accompanies it;

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    - pursue a methodology appropriate for = a given question; and

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    - participate meaningfully in an academic or pub= lic = debate on a controversial issue.

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You will use the Table of Contents on the right to navigate through= out the course. Click on Unit 1 to see an overview of the first unit, or go= straight to Section 1.2 to get started on the exercises.

There are= several resources located at the top right corner of the site - Additional Mat= erials, the Road Map, and the Glossary. Util= izing these tools as you work through the lessons will help you get the mos= t out of this course.

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The material on this website would be useful for students, teachers and= anyone who values an educated mind.
[A note for teachers and graduate stu= dents]

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=E2=80=A2 Learning is an activity;=20 you learn best by doing, not just by readi= ng and listening.
=E2=80=A2 Learning involves=20 discovering,=20 inventing, and=20 evaluating ideas, as well as=20 modifying and
   restructuring= the contents of your mind
, not just receiving information from outs= ide.
=E2=80=A2 The strategies of learning that you develop in one course ca= n and should=20 enhance and illuminate
   what= you learn in other courses
.

In keeping with these assumptions, "working through" this course invol= ves not simply clicking through the course or passively reading/listening, = but experiencing the processes of discovery, invention, and evaluation that= lead to a modification and restructuring of your mind through active engag= ement with the tasks.=20
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defend/substantiate/support/prove/provide evidence for the claim
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employ your critical thinking ability to make an assessment of the merit of= the claim/justification
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strategies to arrive at an answer, including the use of experimentation, in= strumentation, statistics, surveys, interviews, case studies, textual analy= sis, conceptual clarification, thought experiments, explanation constructio= n, and so on.
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conflict between the justification for a position and the justification for= the opposite position
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A collection of readings and exercises to supplement the main activities. T= hey provide more practice and further insight into specific areas of intere= st.
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A visual representation of the concepts covered in this course and their re= lationships to each other.
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A tool which provides definitions and examples of many of the terms used th= roughout the course. The glossary can be searched alphabetically, but can a= lso be called up term-by-term from the Road Map.
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Underlying this course are certain premises on the role of primary, seconda= ry and tertiary education:
A) Helping learners acquire the=20 capacity to learn independently of teacher= s and textbooks and to engage in=20
     diverse modes of inquiry is more important th= an providing knowledge and information in the classrooms.
     (Given the right pedagogy, learners acquire a= great deal of knowledge and information as a by-product of
     the activities designed to develop the capaci= ty for independent learning and independent inquiry.)
B) Understanding the=20 structure and=20 general principles of knowledge and inform= ation is more important
     than the details and specifics of the co= ntent of knowledge and information, although that abstract structure
     and body of general principles need to be roo= ted in examples with concrete details and specifics.
C) Understanding the=20 structure and=20 general principles of inquiry across, as w= ell as beyond, disciplinary=20
     boundaries is as important as discipline and = topic specific details of research.=20
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